By Sean Axmaker
What’s new for home viewing on video-on-demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other streaming services starting Friday, Jan. 19.
Top streams for the week
“Wonderstruck” (2017, PG), a lovely and touching film from Todd Haynes about two children separated by decades but connected by fate (and New York’s Museum of Natural History), got lost in the holiday movie season. You can now stream this family friendly odyssey on Amazon Prime.
Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both won Oscars for “Dallas Buyers Club” (2013, R), a drama based on a true story of the early days of the AIDS crisis. Now streaming on Netflix.
Michelle Williams stars in two superb dramas from filmmaker Kelly Reichardt set and shot in Oregon: hard scrabble road movie “Wendy & Lucy” (2008, R) and haunting frontier drama “Meek’s Cutoff” (2010, PG). Now streaming on Hulu.
Monty Python alumnus Michael Palin takes a rare dramatic role in the British miniseries “Remember Me” (2017), a murder mystery turned ghost story. It arrives on Amazon Prime from PBS.
All 15 seasons of the addictive NBC medical drama “ER” with Noah Wyle, Julianna Margulies, Anthony Edwards, Maura Tierney, and George Clooney (just to name a few of its star players) are now streaming on Hulu. That’s 331 visits to the emergency room.
Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand
“Blade Runner 2049” (2017, R), directed by Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”) and starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, accomplishes a near-impossible feat: it creates a world as visionary and visually entrancing as the original. Also on DVD and Blu-ray.
“Happy Death Day” (2017, PG-13) from Jason Blum’s horror hit factory reworks “Groundhog Day” as a slasher film and crime thriller. “The Snowman” (2017, R), based on the novel by Jo Nesbø, stars Michael Fassbender as a police detective in Norway on the trail of a serial killer. Also on DVD and Blu-ray and at Redbox.
- inspirational drama “Same Kind of Different as Me” (2017, PG-13) with Renee Zellweger and Greg Kinnear;
- survival drama “9/11” (2017, R) with Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg;
- documentary “Aida’s Secrets” (2016, not rated) about a family mystery that reaches back to the Holocaust.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is crime drama “Small Town Crimes” (2017, R) with John Hawkes and Octavia Spencer and parents-gone-bad horror “Mom and Dad” (2017, R) with Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair.
Available before theaters is the indie romantic comedy “The Relationtrip” (2017, not rated).
Embrace the mystery: Michael Stuhlbarg is a modern-day Job in “A Serious Man” (2009, R), a wry tragicomedy from the Coen Bros.
“2018 Olympic Winter Games Preview” (2018) profiles Team USA in two half-hour programs.
The animated feature “Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters” (Japan, 2017, not rated) travels 20,000 years into the future where the lizard king rules the Earth.
Also new: Netflix original haunted house horror “The Open House” (2018, not rated), award-winning indie drama “Dayveon” (2017, not rated), and Irish revenge thriller “Bad Day for the Cut” (2017, not rated).
Foreign affairs: check out the special guest in the South Korean World War II spectacle “Operation Chromite” (South Korea, 2016, not rated, with subtitles): Liam Neeson as Douglas MacArthur.
Streaming TV: Clive Standen takes over from Liam Neeson as the man with a very particular set of skills in “Taken: Season 1.” Also new:
- Netflix original non-fiction series “Drug Lords: Season 1“;
- 1920s hospital drama “Morocco, Love in Times of War: Season 1” from Spain (with subtitles);
- comic drama “Rita: Season 4” (Denmark, with subtitles);
- Netflix original sitcom “Grace and Frankie: Season 4” with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
Kid stuff: “Trolls: The Beat Goes On!: Season 1” continues the animated adventures begun in the 2016 film.
Amazon Prime Video
French legend Catherine Deneuve stars in “The Midwife” (France, 2017, not rated, with subtitles). Also new: horror film “Wish Upon” (2017, PG-13) with Joey King and Ryan Phillippe and coming-of-age comedy “Slash” set in the world of fan fiction (2016, not rated).
Streaming TV: From Britain comes the homefront drama “My Mother & Other Strangers,” set in a provincial Irish town during World War II, and the historical mystery series “Endeavour: Season 4” and “Grantchester: Season 3.”
Kid stuff: the three teenage girls with a book of spells return for “Just Add Magic: Season 2, Part 2” (Amazon Original)
Foreign affairs: over a hundred Bollywood movies—thrillers, comedies, melodramas, romances, and of course lots of musicals produced in India—from the 1960s through the present are streaming on Amazon Prime. Here are a dozen top picks (as recommended by Time Out London in their “100 Best Bollywood Movies” list) to start your journey. All unrated (most are fine for all audiences) and with subtitles.
- “Silsila” (India, 1981) turns a real-life scandal into a musical melodrama and casts the actual participants (Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, and Rekha) in the (alleged) affair to recreate their roles on-screen.
- “Tezaab” (India, 1988), an award-winning romantic drama of crime and redemption with Anil Kapoor, made Madhuri Dixit a star and became a box-office smash.
- “Andaz Apna Apna” (India, 1994), which pairs future superstars Aamir Khan and Salman Khan early in their careers, leans heavy on comedy.
- “Bombay” (India, 1995) works the real-life Bombay riots into a romantic tragedy about a Hindu man and a Muslim woman who defy religious difference to marry in a volatile time.
- “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (India, 1995), the definitive Bollywood romantic comedy, ran continually for almost 20 years in Mumbai’s Maratha Mandier cinema.
- “Dil To Pagal Hai” (India, 1997) – Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit find true love while working together in a dance troupe in this box-office smash.
- “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” (India, 1998) – A college romantic comedy with Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, reportedly inspired by American “Archie” comics.
- “Dil Chahta Hai” (India, 2001) is a coming-of-age romantic drama with Aamir Khan that went for a more realistic portrait of everyday life.
- “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” (India, 2001) pours on the schmaltz for a family melodrama filled with music, set pieces, and Bollywood superstars.
- “Chak De India” (India, 2007) – A musical sports drama starring Shah Rukh Khan as the coach of a women’s field hockey team.
- “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” (India, 2011) is a buddy movie about three friends who hit the road for Spain during an early mid-life crisis.
- “Ek Tha Tiger” (India, 2012) – Salman Khan is torn between duty and love as a spy who falls in love with enemy agent Katrina Kaif.
Amazon Prime and Hulu
With British Royalty all the rage, revisit Helen Mirren’s Oscar-winning performance as “The Queen” (2006, PG-13) in the drama written by “The Crown” creator Peter Morgan.
New episodes of the Hulu original drama “The Path,” now launching its third season, arrive every Wednesday.
Foreign affairs: set in the mountains and high desert plains of Tibet, “Soul on a String” (China, 2016, not rated, with subtitles) is a sweeping odyssey that seems to straddle the past and present. Also new:
- “Afterimage” (Poland, 2016, not rated, with subtitles), the final feature from the great Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda;
- French-Canadian thriller “Polytechnique” (2009, not rated, with subtitles) from Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve;
- Oscar-nominated “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (France, 2007, PG-13, with subtitles) from filmmaker Julian Schnabel.
The high-octane “The Fate of the Furious” (2017, not rated), the eighth film in the car caper franchise with Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, is presented in an extended version with footage not seen in theaters.
Available Saturday is the comedy “Snatched (2017, R) with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn in a South American vacation gone horribly wrong and the return of the political talk show “Real Time With Bill Maher.”
“The Chi,” a drama set on the Southside of Chicago, has become one of Showtime’s most acclaimed original programs. Two episodes now available, new episodes arrive each Sunday.
Emily Blunt is “The Girl on the Train” (2016, R) in the thriller based on the bestselling novel by Paula Hawkins.
Also new: Terry Gilliam’s fantasy “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” (2009, PG-13) featuring the final performance of Heath Ledger and Oscar-nominated “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (2011, R) with Gary Oldman.
FilmStruck / Criterion Channel
Filmstruck’s Director of the Week is Alexander Mackendrick and they add six of his films to the collection, including his great British comedies “Whisky Galore!” (aka “Tight Little Island“) (1949) and “The Man in the White Suit” (1951) and his searing American Broadway noir “Sweet Smell of Success” (1957) with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.
New to Criterion Channel is “The Lure” (Poland, 2015), an offbeat reworking of “The Little Mermaid” as a musical with elements of horror, and the cult mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap” (1984, R).
Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones are back in the terrific low-key British comedy “Detectorists: Series 3,” a meandering character piece with a sly insight to people and relationships you don’t often see in half-hour comedy. All six episodes now streaming.
“The BBC’s Lost Sitcoms” recreates episodes of lost TV comedies “Hancock’s Half Hour,” “Steptoe & Son,” and “Till Death Do Us Part” using the original scripts and a new cast performing in front of a live audience. The latter two inspired Normal Lear’s “Sanford and Son” and “All in the Family” and he’s featured in the documentary “Funny Is Funny: A Conversation With Norman Lear.”
New on disc this week:
“Blade Runner 2049,” “Happy Death Day,” “The Snowman,” “9/11,” “Loving Vincent”
Now available at Redbox:
“IT,” “Victoria and Abdul,” “Happy Death Day,” “The Snowman,” “9/11”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.